Indian Presidential Election Seems to Be Decided

Besides the NDA's constituents, which comprise over 48.6% of votes in the electoral college that will elect the next president, regional parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and JD (U) have announced their support to the Dalit leader, making his win an nearly foregone conclusion.

The Opposition parties are meeting on June 22 to decide on fielding a consensus candidate for the presidential election. That strategy has already taken a hit with AIADMK, BJD, TRS and YSR Congress expressing support for Kovind. "I also appeal to other parties to support Kovind". The BSP leader added that her party's stand can not be negative towards Kovind since he is a Dalit despite his association with the RSS and the BJP from the beginning.

Speaking to media, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said that his party has chose to support Kovind's candidature and all the lawmakers will vote for him in the upcoming elections.

Nitish, who visited the Congress state headquarters on Tuesday for the first time in his political career, refrained from making any comments on the presidential election or Kovind's candidature. With the selection of Kovind as India's top constitutional head, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have played a political masterstroke on opposition parties in more than just ensuring entry into Raisina Hills.

Kovind was accompanied by his wife during the meeting at Vajpayee's residence. Nitish Kumar is known to take independent decision like his welcoming the demonetisation decision and surgical strikes past year and the JD-U voting for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee while sharing power with BJP in the state.

It was also not known whether the party announcement to support Kovind has the backing of Dinakaran, who is also the Deputy General Secretary of AIADMK Amma. "17 paties came together on the issue of Presidential election and if some parties take a different decision..." Sources said that on May 29, he went to see Siyog, Shimla's famous catchment area forest.

Amid this, speculations are rife that the opposition is likely to nominate former LS speaker Meira Kumar and BR Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar as their presidential candidate.

  • Leroy Wright